Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dissecting the Hipster, Part 1

I have no fucking clue what a hipster is. There, I said it.

I really thought all that mess was just kind of the style these days.

Now I just feel old and totally out of it. Clearly this means I have to start wearing nude pantyhose and orthopedic shoes and taking Metamucil and writing checks at the grocery store and keeping hard candy in my pocketbook now.

Hold the phone.

Let's wiki-pedia it. "Hipster is a slang term that first appeared in the 1940s, and was revived in the 1990s and 2000s often to describe types of young, recently-settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with interests in non-mainstream fashion and culture, particularly alternative music, indie rock, independent film, magazines such as Vice and Clash, and websites like Pitchfork Media."

How about Urban Dictionary? "Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter...Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs...Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities."

So, hipsters are men or women, 20-39, who like art and music, wear cool clothes, including old-school sneakers and funky glasses, have good hair with side-swept bangs, and college degrees? That sounds like half the people I saw out last weekend. That sounds like half the people I know.

(On an unrelated note, make sure you look up your name on Urban Dictionary. Mine is crazy accurate.)

I am now on a mission to decode the hipster mystery. To help me with this, Sol and I are engaging in a friendly game of Hipster Bingo. This might be preliminarily unfair, considering Sol is actually from New York, the mecca of all Hipsterdom, and he has an automatically cool name, grew up without television and wears cool Elvis Costello glasses. Hipster? Hmmmm...

Time to study The Hipster Handbook, I guess. Game on.


theTsaritsa said...

Haha, I bought a copy of the Hipster Handbook in college, just for fun. It's pretty funny, and was almost dead-on accurate several years ago. Hipsters change as fashions change, I think.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

i own The Hipster Handbook, along with Stuff White People Like, The Official Preppy Handbook, and How to be a Jewish Mother.

you'd think i'd be a lot cooler than i really am.

Sol is a babe. is he your beau?

allison said...

@You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun,

you ARE cool. kewl, in fact, which is better.

and that's actually a photo of elvis costello, but sol IS a babe...

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

see how fucking not-cool i am? we're never going to speak of this incident again, you hear me???


Sara Louise said...

According to UrbanDictionary I'm a hipster and that's not right at all, I've never been cool. Ever.

ScubaNurse said...

My Nan just says I'm badly dressed.
I'm gonna tell her I'm a hipster- so there *cue raspberry*